The Mauritanian is a harrowing drama that tells the true story of Guantanamo Bay prisoner Mohamedou Ould Salahi, who was held in the detention camp for 14 years without charge. Despite the years of torture — both physical and mental — Salahi managed to emerge from Guantanamo Bay and write a book about his trials, which has become feature film that is alternately a legal thriller and disturbing prison drama.
This approach was steered by director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland), who is the focus of a new The Mauritanian featurette we’re debuting here at /Film for the film’s PVOD release. Watch it below.
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Posted on Wednesday, February 24th, 2021 by Ben Pearson
In Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, Tom Hanks plays a lawyer tasked with defending a man accused of being an enemy of the United States. In The Mauritanian, it’s Jodie Foster‘s turn to do the same thing – but her client is actually innocent. The film tells the true story of Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Tahar Rahim), who was detained at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp for 14 years without being charged. Shailene Woodley (Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars) co-stars as Foster’s character’s assistant, while Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Doctor Strange) is doing another one of his unnerving accents. Check out the latest The Mauritanian trailer below. Read More »
Tahar Rahim, whose soulful and wrenching performance practically carries the true-life Guantanamo drama The Mauritanian, has become an unexpected awards season dark horse this year. He has already earned a Golden Globe nomination for his turn as Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a Mauritanian who was detained at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp for 14 years without charge. It’s a dynamite performance that comes more than 10 years after his breakout role, A Prophet, which first turned him into an awards darling and appeared to mark the arrival of a new international star.
But between 2009 and 2018, Rahim practically disappeared from the Hollywood stratosphere, popping up every now and then in blockbusters like 2011’s The Eagle and arthouse dramas like Mary Magdalene, but mostly preferring to work in his home country of France.
“When I worked with Kevin [MacDonald, who directs him in The Mauritanian], on The Eagle, I could barely speak English,” Rahim said in a Zoom interview with /Film. “So it would have been hard to work in America or England before, but also the parts that I got offered are not convincing, and I had to turn them down.”
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STX Films has debuted the trailer for a true-life courtroom drama with such a star-studded cast that it’s no wonder they squeezed it in just under the wire for awards season. The Mauritanian is based on the true story of Mohamedou Ould Slahi (A Prophet breakout Tahar Rahim) who, in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, was held captive and tortured by the U.S. government in Guantanamo Bay detention camp for 10 years without charge or trial. Jodie Foster, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Shailene Woodley star, with varying levels of believable accents, as the attorneys who cross swords on the courtroom over Slahi’s case. Watch The Mauritanian trailer below.
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